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Gary S. Becker was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in Economics.

Table of Contents

Part I: Personal Capital *1. Preferences and Values *De Gustibus Non Est Disputandum * A Theory of Rational Addiction * Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption * An Empirical Analysis of Cigarette Addiction * Habits, Addictions, and Traditions Part 2: Social Capital * The Economic Way of Looking at Life * A Theory of Social Interactions * A Note on Restaurant Pricing and Other Examples of Social Influences on Price * A Simple Theory of Advertising as a Good or Bad * Norms and the Formation of Preferences * Spouses and Beggars: Love and Sympathy * Acknowledgments * References * Index

About the Author

Gary S. Becker was University Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago. In 1992, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics.


[Becker's] achievement has been to create an elegant structure, internally consistent and based on reasonable assumptions, and to use it to generate many testable propositions about how people grapple with the complexities of personal choice...[He] has helped to liberate economics from a straitjacket of oversimplification and narrowness of view. -- David Throsby Times Literary Supplement Gary Becker has used his regular economics column in Business Week to communicate economic truths in plain English and to apply them to the issues of the day...[In this] collection of scholarly essays, Becker applies technically sophisticated economic arguments to work habits, parental altruism and other matters. -- David R. Henderson Wall Street Journal The formation of preferences or tastes and the role tastes play in consumer behavior provide the underlying themes of Accounting for Tastes. Becker's goal in explaining this role is to extend the assumption that individuals behave in ways that maximize utility based on preferences independent of past and future behaviors...Becker's work shows that economic theory can be fruitfully applied to a wide range of questions in the social sciences. He has extended the borders of economics by applying an economic approach to the analysis of a number of questions considered by some to be primarily within the domain of social sciences other than economics...[Accounting for Tastes] is thought provoking. -- Peggy S. Berger Journal of Consumer Affairs

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